The Civil Aviation Authority is currently developing a legal/regulatory framework to regulate activitites unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in common airspace.
According to CAA, the operations of UAVs, which are more commonly known as drones, are authorised on case by case basis upon submission of formal application explaining purpose of the drone including; documents defining UAV make/model plus the manufacturer, operations specifications and standard or special equipment installed.
The drone's owner will also need to avail a map showing location of operational area for the drone, a security clearance granted by the relevant state security agency or ministry of defence and an introductory letter from the relevant government ministry or department if such operations are conducted on behalf of the government.
In addition, drone operators will be required to furnish a copy of the drone licence issued by the state registry, demonstrate knowledge and awareness of the controlled airspace; in particular the prohibited and restricted areas in Uganda, and furnish evidence that the drone operator will maintain direct communication with CAA air traffic control management any time a flight is to be made.
The drone operator must also ensure the drone operations are not over congested areas like towns, cities or large assemblies.
Drones have become popular in Uganda especially among filmmakers and media houses because they offer easy aerial imagery at a fraction of the cost of hiring a plane or helicopter.
However, the popularity of drones has raised concerns among security and aviation agencies, which fear that these drones might be used to access areas that are off limits to the public or cause accidents by getting into the flight paths of planes.